GALVESTON

A new set of rules designed to regulate and monitor golf carts is causing confusion and angering resident golf cart owners and commercial rental companies alike.

Keri Heath: 409-683-5241; keri.heath@galvnews.com or on Twitter @HeathKeri.

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(8) comments

REGINALD LACKEY

The longer this discussion goes on the more the conversation drifts to dollars with an absence of discussion on safety. Now I don't have a dog in this fight but I do worry that the cost and tax issue trumps safety. Is it safe to operate a cart at night without lights? Can there be a daytime only operation permit? Where I sit it looks like the residents were doing just fine and then the GCC started tinkering hence a spin out.

Reable Reegan

The state night driving issue is only for vehicles driving on streets posted as over 35 MPH, so it does not effect golf carts that are following local ordinance, since they are already limited to streets with a posted speed limit of 35 MPH or less, so this is not really an issue at all. If you watch the minutes of the the July 8th council workshop posted on the cities own website (https://galvestontx.new.swagit.com/videos/128722), you will see that the only real hang up is that the west end cart owners do not want to install turn signals. In my opinion, all the carts driven on the streets should share the same requirements east and west alike.

Bailey Jones

Here are the state laws. They are not hard to find:

A Golf Cart is a motor vehicle designed by the manufacturer primarily for use on a golf course. TxDMV does not title and register Golf Carts, but Golf Carts are eligible to receive a Golf Cart license plate. You may obtain a Golf Cart license plate from your county tax assessor-collector’s office.

Golf Carts with a Golf Cart license plate may be operated on roads in the following situations:

In a master planned community with a uniform set of restrictive covenants and a county or municipality approved plat

On a public or private beach that is open to vehicular traffic

On a highway with a posted speed limit of 35 mph, during the daytime and not more than two miles from the location where it is usually parked for transportation to and from a golf course

To cross intersections, including an intersection with a highway that has a posted speed limit of more than 35 mph.

Golf Carts must have the following minimum equipment:

Headlamps

Tail lamps

Reflectors

Parking brake

Mirrors

Additionally, cities or certain counties may authorize operation of Golf Carts on roads within the boundaries of the city or within unincorporated areas of certain counties. The Golf Cart must display a Golf Cart license plate when operated on roads authorized by the city or county. Operation may be authorized only on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or less.

If operated on the roads at a speed of 25 mph or less, a Golf Cart is required to display a slow-moving vehicle emblem.

https://www.txdmv.gov/motorists/buying-or-selling-a-vehicle/unique-vehicles

Cody Wright

In response to the rental company owner's comment about sales tax, when it's mentioned that they "give" a lot of money in sales taxes: they collect from the customer and pass on to the state. Sales taxes are not another fee that the business has to pay that cuts into their profit.

And for the $150 fee, the company near my house rents carts for $100/hour or $400 for the day. After paying the $150 fee, the company can make a profit off the carts the remaining 364 days, 22.5 hours of the year, so no, I don't think the increased fee for a business is unreasonable.

Jack Reeves

[thumbup][thumbup]

Don Schlessinger

What a boondoggle and great example of a city government putting tourists in front of the citizens of a small town. This mess sits on the shoulders of our mayor and most of the city council, again putting tourism ahead of residents of our city. The result, our city council has ruined one of the few perks island residents have in this tourist trap. All this makes me wonder how much money some of our council members might have invested in rental companies around the city. Hopefully our next city council election will produce representatives truly concerned about the residents of the island.

Michael Jozwiak

Driving on Seawall a few days ago, I encountered 4 golf carts. One had people wearing seatbelts; the other three did not. One was on the north sidewalk and going backwards, one was in driving in the left lane. One had mother & father & 3 y/o facing rear and no seatbelts worn. Seems there is not enough personnel to enforce the rules, even those for minimum safety coverage. Tough about registration and costs for upgrading to the rules: the rules are needed. Raise rental prices or give up the golf carts. I two carts parked head into curb illegally in handicap spot on the Strand the other day also. Comply or give up the golf carts.

Roy Hughes

I think the city of Galveston can do two things that would greatly help the situation.

EDUCATE THE TOURISTS AND ENFORCE THE LAWS.

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